The official name of this place is Fish Farm Thai Restaurant but many reviews and posts have added an extra “Vegetables“ in front of it, hence your Google search on this place will pop it up as “Vegetables Fish Farm Thai Restaurant”. That’s really a more apt name because there are sprawling vegetables plots in this place, besides the fish pond. In fact, once you enter the property off the Hulu Langat Road, you will be greeted by the vegetable beds on your right even before you see the fish pond.
Prior to this visit, I was forewarned that the road leading to the restaurant was in some rough terrain and a 4WD vehicle was advisable. Since we don’t have a 4WD, we drove to the place with some trepidation.
On the invitation of our good friends, Alice and Ching, we set off for this little adventure. We met them somewhere in Cheras and from there we trailed their car and took a long scenic drive through a picturesque little town – Pekan Batu 14. The road was narrow and winding and then we hit the Hulu Langat Road. The landmark to look out for is the Ampang Lookout Point and a bit further down, look out for the signboard with the restaurant’s name on the left and turn in. The road from here leading to the restaurant has been resurfaced so it’s not that bad and regular cars can drive through with no problem.
The property is huge, with sufficient car park space. We took a few moments to breathe in the fresh air before heading into the restaurant. The owners have invested well into this business as the place is fashioned after a rustic theme – the dining areas are atop wooden platforms built above the ponds and shaded with thatched roofs. Very kampong-style.
From the BBQ pits on the left side of the restaurant entrance, the walkway snakes along the rough cemented floor in a cavernous corridor along the length of the pond. The restaurant can easily seat 500 people, with tables all spread out over 4 huge floating platforms.
Oh did I mention that there’s even a stall laden with fresh vegetables for sale there? Yes, vegetables which are planted there are available to customers. Besides this stall, they have also set up individual counters to prepare their salads (kerabus), fruit juices and desserts.
Laminated photos of their signature dishes are hung up on the walls to help diners with their orders. We started our meal with several of their signature dishes: Kerabu Mango, Salt-baked Tilapia (fresh from their ponds), Grilled Cockles, Lala in Bean Sauce, Salted Egg Prawns, Steamed Mantis Prawns and Seafood Tomyum.
Lala in Bean Sauce
Salted Eggyolk Prawns
The Salt-baked Tilapia was memorable for me – fish as fresh as that cannot be faulted and the simple cooking method enhanced the sweet natural flavours. When we peeled away the crusted skin, the fish was tender and flaky – we picked it clean to the bone.
Steamed Mantis Prawns
We saw the staff releasing the fresh live mantis prawns into the tank and our host couldn’t resist ordering a few of those kicking crustaceans. The only cooking method to do justice to them was plain simple steaming with some ginger and chillies. The mantis prawns were firm and succulent and oozing golden roe from the heads.
Grilled Baby Octopus
From the grilling station, we had the cockles, baby octopus, crabs and lamb. The cockles were a tad small, it seemed we just missed the shipment of bigger-sized ones a few days prior to our dinner there. The crabs we had were medium sized and had lots of roe but they were a bit over-cooked, rendering the dark orange roe harder than its ideal creamy texture. Nevertheless, the meat was firm and sweet. The lamb was superb, the flavours were just right and skillfully grilled as they were really tender.
We saw many other tables had plates of fried spinach piled high and this was also the choice of one of our dining companions. The spinach leaves were covered in a light tempura-like batter before being deep fried. They were crunchy and a hit but personally I still prefer my vegetables stir-fried lightly. The Pucuk Paku was done this way… the forest ferns were crisp and delicious but slightly marred by bites of some fibrous stem.
Stir-fried Pucuk Paku
Fish Farm Thai Restaurant would be an ideal place to bring your foreign guests and a good place to dine out in a group. Besides the food, the natural scenic surroundings and fresh air are all plus points for us to revisit the place.
Fish Farm Thai Restaurant
Tel: 019-2606493 (Eugene)
Open: 11.00am till 11.30pm daily